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Calvados, in the Lower Normandy region of France, is an enticing area full of natural beauty and historical significance. See where William the Conqueror began his conquest of Britain and visit his final resting place. Sunbathe on scenic beaches and be pampered in sumptuous hotels, or tour farmland and sample locally produced cheeses and brandy.
Explore the town of Bayeux, home to the famous tapestry. Head to the Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux to see this historic artifact, which represents the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England. Stroll along Bayeux’s beaches, which were the site of the D-Day landings in June 1944.
Visit the quaint seaside village of Cabourg with a scenic 1.2-mile (2-kilometer) beach. Admire Cabourg’s beautiful Grand Hotel, made famous by novelist Marcel Proust. In June, spot some of French cinema’s biggest stars at the annual Cabourg Romantic Film Festival, which has been running since 1983.
A half-hour drive from Cabourg is the historic village of Caen where William the Conqueror is buried. It's also home to Château de Caen, one of Western Europe’s largest medieval castles. Head to Deauville, known as the “Parisian Riviera” due to its opulent hotels and coastal location. Visit in September to attend the Deauville American Film Festival.
Travel north along the coast to the quaint town of Honfleur, known for its picturesque harbor with slate-fronted houses immortalized by Impressionists such as Monet. Head inland to the farming town of Lisieux and pass fields of grazing cattle and cider apples. Try a glass of Calvados, the apple brandy named after the region.
Calvados is served by two airports, Caen-Carpiquet and Deauville-Saint Gatien, as well as the port of Ouistreham, which runs daily ferry services to Portsmouth in Britain. The region is also close to Paris, with most towns no more than a 3-hour drive away. With its seaside resorts, green countryside and historic castles, Calvados is an enticing blend of sophistication, historical insight and rural charm.